Men's Volleyball Tames Wildcats

Men's Volleyball Tames Wildcats

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team nabbed its second straight triumph as the Leopards edged out Johnson & Wales University in a 3-2 comeback win in Great Northeast Athletic play on Tuesday night at the Wildcat Center.

Wentworth improves to 16-8 and 8-2 within conference play, while Johnson & Wales falls to 12-12 and 4-4 in league play.

Four kills from sophomore Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) helped lift the Wildcats to a 25-20 first set victory to take the 1-0 lead. Johnson & Wales capitalized on Wentworth's defensive woes and went on two 4-0 runs that allowed them to take the 20-14 lead. The Leopards began to inch their way back and cut the lead down to three, but a kill from Chang sealed the 25-20 win.

Wentworth took the lead through the early stages of the second set and never looked back. Johnson & Wales crept back late in the set on a kill by Chang that squared the match up at 24-24, but Wentworth notched two consecutive points to take the 26-24 second set win and evened the score at 1-1.

Two defensive mistakes from the Wildcats allowed the Leopards to take a 13-11 lead, but the Wildcats powered out a string of five consecutive points and took the 16-13 lead on a service ace by junior Jackson Steigerwald (Penfield, N.Y.). Johnson & Wales pieced together four more points to take the 21-15 lead after a Wentworth attack error. Down by six, sophomore Jon Roat (Marcedon, N.Y.) and junior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) registered kills to bring the Leopards within two, but it was not enough as the Wildcats sealed the 25-22 win and went up 2-1.

Much like the second set, the Leopards maintained offensive control through the fourth set. Roat's kill capped off a six-point run that gave Wentworth its largest lead at 16-6. Johnson & Wales began to creep back as they cut the lead down to four on a kill by freshman Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) at 20-16. Wentworth tallied three points to seal the 25-17 and sent the game into the fifth set at 2-2.

In the fifth set, Wentworth shut down Johnson & Wales as the Leopards only allowed the Wildcats five points within the set as Reed's 11th kill of the set lifted Wentworth to a 3-2 fifth set victory at 15-5. Wentworth hit an impressive .636 in the deciding frame, while limiting the Wildcats to -.083.

Three members of the Black & Gold notched double-digits in kills, including sophomore Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) who had 13 while Roat (12) and Reed (11) also led the Leopards. Roat also contributed 11 digs, while junior Paul Cooke (Ridgefield, Conn.) had 25 helpers and junior Michael Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) racked up 14 digs.

Chang led the Wildcat offense with 12 kills, while freshman Jason Rhee (Aurora, Colo.) and Ponce racked up double digits in both kills and digs. Along with 22 helpers from Ponce and 19 from Rhee, the two also had 12 digs apiece. Senior Kyle Eva (Charlestown, R.I.) registered six blocks as Brendan Baker and senior Rakeem Malone (St. Thomas, USVI) notched five.

Wentworth hosts Emerson on Saturday afternoon.